When we got home, there was a card waiting for us. It was from a relative of one of ours.
One side of our family, mine, is almost entirely Catholic. The other side, Ami’s, is mostly Mormon. I’m not going to identify the relative who sent the note because much as this card hurt us both, it came from someone whom we both want to continue to have in our lives. And while it was one person who expressed the thought, it could have come from a number of our family members from both sides. We will call the writer Chris.
The front of the card said, “Thinking of You,” and the envelope was addressed to both of us. It was from one of the relatives we had visited on our trip. Inside there was an affirmation that we were always welcome in Chris’s house. Then it said, “I don’t think of your relationship as a marriage! nor do I like how you’re living it!” That first exclamation point was obviously inserted as an afterthought. It was signed “Love, Chris.”Read more
We left the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles in the afternoon, in the last hour of pink-sienna-magenta sky before twilight. I’d sampled amazing Italian olive oil at The Cheese Store of Silver Lake, taken a delightful turn through the ReForm School, and eaten the best gelato of my life (Market plum! Chocolate covered raisin! Salty chocolate!) at Pazzo Gelato.
We were sad to leave L.A., but I was even sadder that we were leaving for Fresno.
Fresno: n., The place that you struggled to leave physically many years ago, but still struggle to leave mentally. A place you don’t like to visit, because as soon as you’re back it seems like nothing ever got better at all.Read more
Looking back on it now, I can see the strategy Inslee was using when he began the real conversation with us. Start with a point of agreement. “What do you think of Referendum 71?” he asked.
“Well, we wish it had never happened in the first place, but we think it will pass,” I said. Everyone was still in the room, and I feel a little bad that with Inslee there, his legislative assistant, David, kind of faded into the background.
“My wife and I made a donation to the campaign,” he said. “And I sent out an e-mail in support of it–or at least I think I did–if not, I will.”Read more
It’s too early to say for sure, but it looks like the first ever win for a pro-gay initiative on a state ballot. And it’s our state, Washington, that will claim it. The voter-approved law, Senate Bill 5688, will change Washington’s definition of spouse–in every law in which it appears–to include registered domestic partners. For that reason, it’s nicknamed the “everything-but-marriage” law.
We don’t know for sure, though, because too many ballots are still pending. Washington became an all-vote-by-mail state this year, and ballots had to be postmarked, not received, by November 3.
Dawn also finds us at status quo for same-sex marriage on the ballot. Maine, where the results are essentially final, saw a “Yes” answer for Question 1, the challenge to their legislature- and governor-approved law granting same-sex couples marriage rights. That means the law allowing people like us to marry will never take effect.Read more
After the crowded waiting room, it was a relief to enter Inslee’s office, where there was plenty of seating. David Bahar, Inslee’s legislative assistant, was deaf and had an ASL translator, so for a little while it was just the four of us: David, the translator, Frances, and me. They assured me we had time to wait for Ami before beginning. I said she’d just be a few minutes, but the truth was I had no idea where–or if–she’d found parking or how long she’d be. I explained our mission and our journey, and talked about why we were running behind.
Lucky for me, Ami arrived a few minutes later, just about the time that the representative’s new communications person arrived, too. He said that he always tried to sit in with David, since he was so knowledgeable. I wondered if this was a way to make us feel like we were meeting with someone important, even if it wasn’t Inslee. We rearranged for the best translation vantage point, and got started.Read more